Since its inception nearly one hundred and fifty years ago the Bahá’í Faith has taught the equality of the sexes. This was when the women’s movement was only beginning its fight for suffrage in the West and such ideas were unheard of in the Middle East.
The Bahá’í Faith is the only independent world religion whose Founder has stated unequivocally that women and men are equal. Baha’is view equality between the sexes and the full participation of women in every field of human endeavor as essential prerequisites to peace and human progress, and that feminine qualities—such as compassion, nurturing, cooperation and empathy—are essential in creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world civilization. Inequality between the sexes delays not only the advancement of women, but also the progress of civilization itself.
For more than a century, the Baha’is of the United States have worked to advance the status of women by advocating policies and legislation that promote gender equality. They also collaborate with national coalitions on legislation against domestic violence; education on the health implications of violence against women; promotion of complete gender integration in development planning; and advocacy against international gender-based violence.
“Women and men have been and will always be equal in the sight of God.” — Baha’u’llah
“The male and female are like the two wings of a bird and when both wings are reinforced with the same impulse the bird of humanity will be enabled to soar heaven-ward to the summit of progress.”